I support cannabis recreational use, my sister works for a dispensary, and dispensaries are being taxed to death, my resolution is to reduce the taxes on dispensaries down to zero percent.
Thank you committee members and Chair Valenzuela for bringing this item forward.
Thank you also to OCM staff and Davina for working on this over the last few years.
It is time for the committee to advance this item to council so that we can get an ordinance in place ASAP.
Both social consumption events at approved locations, both private and public, as well as consumption lounges adjunct to permitted storefront dispensaries, are necessary to accommodate the needs of the industry and the demand of the marketplace.
While the city is not likely ready yet for co-located permits for alcohol and cannabis consumption, we encourage the committee to be bold and allow diverse entrepreneurial opportunities by allowing food to be present, e.g. the cannabis café concept.
Opposition to this item on public health grounds is misguided, the whole point of regulated consumption spaces is to ensure that safe spaces are available for the consumer and they are not relegated to the sidewalk, parks, cars, nor confined within the walls of their own home.
The EPS study resolutely disproved the "chicken little" claims regarding cannabis in our city. No dispensary has sold product to minors except within legal medical guidelines, and if parents are not in control of their own purchased products this is beyond the scope of this discussion.
The same issues apply to alcohol, and arguably to greater harmful effects, but though problems inevitably exist, we do not ban bars or restaurants from serving the public. We entrust adults to manage their own affairs responsibly, and rightly so as a free and civil society.
Lastly is the aspect of limiting consumption permits to graduates from the CORE program. While we all agree on the harms of the war on drugs and celebrate the achievements of CORE in facilitating the entry of new entrepreneurs, it is not appropriate to prohibit non CORE operators from engaging in the on-site consumption marketplace.
All of the dispensaries currently operating have endured the long path to the current day, including DEA raids, criminal attempts at burglary, excessive IRS taxation under 280E, and on top of it all a widely swinging industry sales due to the continuing dominance of the illicit market.
It is only fair to let everyone participate in this new program, as confirmed by majority vote during the OCM workshop surveys on this topic.
If we want to reserve some proportion of consumption permits for CORE, I don't think anyone has a problem with that. But let others participate as well, if for no other reason than the principle of equal protection under the law as enshrined by the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Finally, we all know that cannabis consumption currently takes place everywhere, regardless of the applicable laws. The question today is: do we allow the regulated marketplace to offer a safe and controlled alternative, like many other cities in California have already done.
I urge the committee to vote yes on this matter, and open our city to regulated cannabis tourism and divrse venues for special consumption events.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Just Because Others Do It Doesn't Mean It's a Good Idea
Hello. My name is Connie Chan Robison, Director of the Center for Collaborative Planning, Public Health Institute. I respectfully submit my opposition to the permitting of cannabis consumption lounges in our city. As a public health professional, the creation of these lounges in Sacramento will increase exposure to secondhand smoke for customers and employees and will increase their risk for heart disease, cancer, stroke, asthma and other health problems. Let's learn from our past mistakes with tobacco smoke. Research shows that cannabis smoke is as harmful or more harmful than tobacco smoke. Drugged driving along with drunk driving creates added risk and potential for accidents for our families.
As cannabis becomes more present in our community, with cannabis at public markets and events that serve families and kids, I am concerned that we will see more use, more addiction, and more young people and young adults whose lives have been derailed by drug use. Normalizing marijuana use by expanding where it can be marketed, sold, and used can negatively influence behaviors and consequences for our young people as they navigate risks and decisions.
Finally I ask that the Council hold a special hearing with public health experts as well as local hospitals to gain more insight about health risks associated with marijuana use and marketing practices targeted at children and youth. I understand that the Council has never held such a hearing. Hosting such a hearing would help all of us better understand the impact of marijuana use in our community.
Thank you for your attention and consideration.
Connie Chan Robison
Executive Director, Center for Collaborative Planning
It is high time that our City follow the lead of others in the State and legalize cannabis tourism via onsite consumption at locations other than the Cal Expo Fairgrounds. I urge the Committee to act on this item and adopt an ordinance that allows for diverse venues for social consumption events, streamlined permits for consumption lounges at retail dispensaries, and is open to all operators who wish to participate, both CORE and non-CORE. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Hi! I am Stephanie and I work in the cannabis industry in California! It is important that there are safe spaces for us to consume that are not on site! We need amends made to this proposition to include OFF- SITE consumption. With this we request a pilot program and that these things be open to all and not just core members. Off site consumption is key to encouraging the end of black market which is still rampant in town. It’s not legalization if consumption laws such as off site consumption are not put in place as well!
Hello, I'm Adam, and I wholeheartedly endorse the concept of cannabis consumption lounges. I've been a resident of Sacramento for a decade now, and during this time, I've encountered a recurring challenge when it comes to introducing cannabis to friends and family visiting from out of state. Finding a secure and appropriate setting for them to enjoy cannabis has proven to be quite cumbersome. The constraints of public consumption and restrictions within hotels leave very few options, resulting in a less-than-ideal experience for our guests, and often, a rather off-putting one for tourists.
In my view, it's crucial that we establish safe, dependable spaces for people to consume cannabis, akin to how we have bars for the responsible consumption of alcohol. Permitting such consumption spaces fosters social interaction and facilitates community connections among cannabis enthusiasts. Furthermore, it provides an avenue to implement necessary regulations and uphold safety standards, thereby benefiting both the public and the community at large.
As someone who aspires to enter the business landscape, the prospect of opening a cannabis retail shop seems increasingly distant. I strongly encourage you not to limit licenses exclusively to cannabis retail shops. This approach presents individuals like myself with a genuine opportunity to enter the market and establish thriving businesses that can contribute to the well-being of Sacramento. Your support for this inclusive approach will not only promote entrepreneurship but also enhance the overall cannabis experience for both residents and visitors.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
My name is Mark Carrillo and I am here to represent the Weed for Warriors Project. As a Marine with two deployments to Iraq, our organization is trying to lower the Veteran suicide epidemic going on in this country (44+ a day currently in the US). We need off site consumption lounges in Sacramento, these locations will help us fight this epidemic.
The city should create a pilot program with some of the good standing business, open to anyone willing to help the city create a safe space for gatherings and cannabis consumption. Since I got home from the Corps in 2007 and started using medical cannabis. I have been to hundreds of cannabis only events without seeing one instance of violence or felling unsafe. We need places where we can come together legally. Please listen to the people in the community and businesses that can help make these places possible.
Hello, my name is Adeola Adedipe and I support consumption lounges. My hope is that we will get to a place where we are at least treated like the beer and wine industry.
There is so much racism and segregation in the cannabis industry that we are faced with so many barriers. In order to continue to advocate for change cannabis consumption lounges need to be a part of the future. In Sacramento, we are behind in comparison to La and Sanfransico with opportunities for the cannabis industry. I am a CORE graduate and so I believe this should be approved for Core Operators. I believe that there should be guidelines for public safety in high-volume settings but overall if someone wants to attend a gathering or a place of business that supports cannabis it should be supported just like if I wanted to go to a bar, or winery to wine taste.
I hope all is well and thank you again for allowing to comment on this public matter
Blessings Adeola Adedipe
We urge the Committee to act on this item and have streamlined permits for consumption lounges at retail dispensaries, and is open to all operators who wish to participate, both CORE and non-CORE. As you can see from the Sac Bee article attached most CORE are partnered with big businesses and their funding behind them, which should allow for both CORE and non-CORE to participate in applying for this license. Thank you.
Hello, my name is Nia MooreWeathers and I am a community organizer with Youth Forward, and a citizen of District 4.
I am attaching three letters of opposition from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Sacramento Native American Health Center and the Greater Sacramento Smoke and Tobacco Free Coalition. These were sent directly to the members of the committee through email and through hard copy. I am sharing them here for public review.
Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights would like to submit the attached letter regarding our concern with potentially allowing onsite consumption lounges at Sacramento's cannabis retailers, which could put the health of workers and neighbors at risk by increasing exposure to secondhand smoke.
I support the passing of onsight consumption but I believe we should first be enforcing and stoping the ones that are happening currently inside the city. They don't check ID'S at the door, they don't follow regulations and are benefiting from their illegal actions.
There is 1 delivery Dispensary, Eleven11 7th, that is charging brands $500 a day to hold events at their lounge and they also run all the customers through their POS system which leads to a huge advantage. I could easily rent a space and do the same thing but don't knowing it's illegal. We must stop the illegal operators and lay out the rules to create a safe environment for the customers.
People are going to create places to smoke and without regulations it won't ever be a safe envenvironment.
City of Sacramento
Law and Legislation Committee
City Hall Complex
Council Chamber, 1st Floor
915 I Street, Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: Special Meeting (9/19/2023): Discussion on Social Consumption at Special Events and Onsite Consumption Lounges (File ID: 2023-01102) - REQUEST FOR SUPPORT
Dear Law and Legislation Committee Members,
My name is Yessenia Marquez Villarreal. I am a first generation college graduate student, I am a California licensed barber, I have previously worked in the cannabis retail industry as a budtender, as well as a brand ambassador. Currently, I am in my third week of my masters program at California State University, Sacramento in which I intend to be the first graduate student to conduct my thesis on the endocannabinoid system in relation to exercise as I receive my degree in kinesiology with the concentration on Exercise Science.
I am expressing to you today the urge to support File ID 2023-01102, which would allow social consumption at special events and onsite consumption lounges in the city of Sacramento.
If File ID 2023-01102 were to be proposed as a bill and furthermore signed into law, it will allow the community to create a secure environment where cannabis education may take place, support cannabis decriminalization and reformation, and raise public knowledge of cannabis issues.
Recognizing that double standards exist is a step towards cannabis decriminalization and cannabis reformation. It is unjust to condemn users of cannabis and their allies from experiencing public social gatherings while enjoying their cannabis product of choice. In comparison, alcohol and the bar scene where people above the age of 21 are allowed to create public environments where social gatherings may be held with their alcoholic product of choice. This fails to include those that abstain from alcohol consumption and prefer to consume cannabis with few to no options for socializing in safe and public vicinities.
Endorsement on Social Consumption at Special Events and Onsite Consumption Lounges Would Expand Opportunities in Sacramento
Allowing our community to experience social gatherings in a designated consumption area, whether it be operated by a permitted cannabis business or at a licensed cannabis special event, would grant the city of Sacramento to flourish as it would expand opportunities for businesses. Opening the doors to these experiences will increase the social dynamic within the Sacramento community. Furthermore, this will encourage a drive in economic and tax revenue with the increase of tourism.
In the heart of the Bay Area, two retailers by the names of Moe Green’s and Barbary Coast in San Francisco along with Rose Mary Jane’s in Oakland are cities that support onsite consumption lounges and have demonstrated being conscious of their approach. The three mentioned retailers require that the cannabis products be purchased within the respective location and consumed on grounds, not permitting outside product into their lounges. Another critical practice is that their staff is trained on product knowledge therefore able to make appropriate recommendations. Furthermore, these locations implement training the staff to look for signs of intoxication. These signs include alcohol intoxication, resulting in the customer being denied any sales, as well as over consumption of cannabis in which they assist as needed. Consumption lounges can incorporate activities such as televised events, board games, performances, along with food items- all which are already Inc. and practice to alcohol consumers in a bar.
By succeeding cities like San Francisco and Oakland endorsing social consumption and on-site consumption , the city of Sacramento will experience a decrease in people consuming at public parks or within their cars which will result in cleaner environments due to the decline in littering as well as loitering. It would be beneficial to society by establishing an inclusive environment, even more so to those that do not have a community or place to consume safely.
Authorizing the cannabis community social consumption at special events and on-site consumption lounges not only would remove the concern from being discriminated against, but also further support establishing a safe environment where education on cannabis may take place leading to harm reduction. This will encourage residents of Sacramento and neighboring cities networking opportunities and expansion.
Affirmation on File ID 2023-01102 - Social Consumption at Special Events and Onsite Consumption Lounges Will Encourage Public Knowledge
Upon endorsement of File ID 2023-01102, it will serve the purpose to create a secure environment where the community is allowed to raise public knowledge of cannabis. Topics such as cannabis issues, cannabis policy, cannabis anatomy, the human endocannabinoid system, the plant to human biochemical interaction and relationship, proper accessory usage and hygiene, and prospective employment opportunities in the cannabis industry would take place in which all would be beneficial to society.
Correspondingly, permitting our community to experience social gatherings in a designated consumption area, whether it be operated by a permitted cannabis business or at a licensed cannabis special event, will be a step forward to those interested in research on the topic of cannabis.
There are several obstacles and restrictions when it comes to research on the topic of cannabis, a prime example being the issue of consumption and transportation of volunteers to and from a research facility and the liability risk it may impose. By authorizing the approval of File ID 2023-01102, this will allow researchers to collaborate with onsite consumption lounges where the volunteers may consume the product of interest and conduct their studies there with further collaboration from a transportation company that will ensure the safe travels to and from the designated facility.
Future Research Opportunities with the Foundation of File ID 2023-01102
This is where my personal interest lies as I am currently pursuing my Master’s degree at Sacramento State University in Kinesiology with the concentration on Exercise Science. I intend to pursue my thesis on the endocannabinod system and the relationship with exercise. In order for my study and schooling to be successful, I am aware it will require me to expand my skill set and also publically express my research interest to ensure I am doing my part in advocacy.
Since August 2022 I have been assisting Dr. Begue and Dr. Brown at Sacramento State University on their study on Parkinson’s Disease and the correlation with exercise, further investigating stimulating biomarkers that could lead to decreasing symptoms and degeneration. Getting involved in this research ignited my interest to pursue a career in research.
The example aforementioned in regard to the liability risk of onsite consumption and transportation of volunteers to and from a research facility (in this case on campus) is a barrier I would be able to overcome as I would then have the opportunity to network with an onsite consumption lounge in which would provide an environment that can house and support my intended research.
I am asking you, the Law and Legislation Committee Members, to support File ID 2023-01102 and provide the cannabis community equity. It would have been my pleasure to present this in person during the live discussion and allow the brief moment to meet me, however, due to time conflict with my prior commitment assisting with the Parkinson’s Disease Study at Sacramento State I am unable to attend this special meeting.
Yessenia Marquez Villarreal
B.S. Exercise Science, California State University - Sacramento
Clinical Exercise & Rehabilitation Specialist
Greetings Madame Chair and Committee Members
I will not repeat all of the many compelling reasons WHY we have a policy for CORE. I will simply urge you to keep the City’s commitment to be intentional about implementing CORE, as a policy.
Over 300 people in Sacramento have been certified as eligible for CORE, yet the policy goal of having us hold 50 percent of all licenses is no where near being achieved. Less than 9 percent of all cannabis licenses in the City are held by CORE participants. It is not only critical that the City remove the regulatory, zoning, tax and access to capital barriers faced by CORE. It is time for the City to exclusively award new license types to CORE, as well as ALL licenses, until the City has achieved its 50 percent policy goal.
The Institute for MORE urges this Committee and the full Council to exclusively award all Consumption Lounge and event permits exclusively to CORE. We urge this Committee to support awarding Consumption permits for storefront, as well as delivery dispensary operators.
Institute for MORE
Cannabis consumption lounges are a huge economic opportunity for the local economy when they are done right! I've seen different cities go forward with different cumbersome regulation such as no cannabis purchases on site or only permitting the consumption of cannabis beverages on site.
For it to be successful in the long term for small business owners and the local economy, these lounges must be permitted to operate in a way that puts the customer's comfort and convenience in mind. What can we learn from the cigar lounges, hookah bars, and breweries where adults are allowed to purchase and partake safely?
Smoke is Smoke
On behalf of Getting it Right from the Start, a program of the Public Health Institute, I am writing in opposition to the permitting of cannabis consumption lounges in the City of Sacramento.
PHI is an Oakland, California-based 501c3 nonprofit organization with almost 60 years of experience working throughout California and globally to advance health equity, well-being, and quality of life for all people.
PHI’s Getting it Right from the Start program has worked throughout California and nationally since 2017 to advance cannabis policies that better protect youth, public health, and social equity where sale has been legalized. We develop model local laws, analyze the laws and retail presence of cannabis in all California cities and counties annually, carry out NIH and state-funded research on cannabis policy issues, and have worked with over 100 local jurisdictions and many states on their approaches. We have successfully supported the adoption of many innovative policies, including equity in licensing, criminal record expungement, restrictions on products attractive to children and flavored products known to attract youth in California local jurisdictions and other states, briefing jurisdictions on the science regarding cannabis related smoke exposure and cannabis use, and on the epidemiology and science of cannabis related benefits and harms. In our research we find that in 2022 only 44 of California’s 539 jurisdictions allowed on-site consumption, so it is by no means the norm, nor is it necessary for having successful cannabis businesses.
Allowing licensed cannabis retailers and/or microbusiness retailers to be permitted for on-site cannabis consumption, and /or to allow them to open on-site consumption restaurants and bars that prepare and sell conventional foods and beverages, whether pre-packaged or prepared on site, is a deeply unwise policy.
On-site consumption will impact public health by exposing more patrons and employees of these businesses to the harms of secondhand cannabis smoke and vapor. Rooms filled with cannabis smoke/vapor pose significant threats to anyone in that environment. Researchers have compared the pollution levels when a user smokes a Marlboro tobacco cigarette to the pollution levels that occur when the user smokes cannabis in a joint, bong, and pipe, as well as when they dab or vaporize cannabis. They found that all the methods of cannabis consumption produced as much or more pollution than the tobacco cigarette; cannabis joints were the most polluting, producing 3.5 times more particulate matter than the tobacco cigarette. Other researchers comparing tobacco and cannabis secondhand smoke found that the average secondhand PM2.5 concentrations from smoking a marijuana joint in the home were found to be 4.4 times as great as the secondhand PM2.5 concentrations from smoking a tobacco cigarette.
Cannabis smoke was found to have 20 times higher levels of ammonia and 3-5 times more hydrogen cyanide, some aromatic amines, nitrogen dioxide and nitric oxide than tobacco smoke. A second study assessed the effects of on-site consumption of cannabis on PM2.5 (particulate matter) concentration in the retail and consumption space of a cannabis store where smoking was banned, but vaporizing and dabbing were permitted found that the average PM2.5 concentration when the business was open was 28 times higher than when the business was closed. The concentrations found just from vaping cannabis in this study were similar to those observed in indoor spaces where smoking is permitted.3 Cannabis smoke is harmful to the placenta. UCSF researchers found that just one minute of marijuana smoke substantially impaired the function of the vascular endothelium for at least 90 minutes, longer than secondhand tobacco smoke, demonstrating the potential for adverse effects on heart health.
Even at outdoor events, worker health is affected, as evidenced by a study of law enforcement officers providing security at outdoor concerts where cannabis use was widespread, cannabis was present in the post-event urine of 34% and officers reported common symptoms during the concerts including burning, itchy, or red eyes (31%); dry mouth (21%); headache (21%); and coughing (21%).
In short, smoke is smoke. Secondhand cannabis smoke and vapor pollutes the air as much or more than tobacco. Suggestions that exposure to secondhand cannabis smoke or vapor is safe are misleading. Like tobacco smoke, it is also clear that engineering and ventilation techniques cannot reduce this pollution to healthy levels and complete smoke-free policies are the only way to provide healthy indoor environments.
These new social environments for consuming cannabis, possibly while eating and drinking (nonalcoholic products), are also likely to exacerbate drugged driving, already a major problem. A recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found a significant 6% increase in car crashes after adult-use legalization with marijuana and alcohol co-use being particularly important. According to the United States (U.S.) Department of Transportation, 10,142 people lost their lives in an alcohol-impaired driving accident in 2019. At that rate, 27-28 people in the U.S. die in drunkdriving car crashes every day, which is about one person every 52 minutes. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, after alcohol, cannabis is the drug most often found in the blood of drivers involved in crashes. There is evidence that cannabis impairs reaction time and other factors involved with driving ability.
Cannabis on-site consumption lounges can contribute to encouraging increases in the use of cannabis. There is no evidence that cannabis use replaces alcohol use, rather it provides another option for intoxication and dependency, layered atop the existing risks of alcohol. We legalized cannabis to pursue greater social justice and end mass incarceration from its illegality. But cannabis is still one of the mostly widely used substances of abuse in the nation, with widespread harm to mental health including increased risk of psychosis and suicidality, dependency, low birth weight for exposed children, and increased motor vehicle accidents. There is also increasing evidence of adverse cardiovascular effects including heart attacks.
Cannabis use by young adults, who will be able to use on-site consumption lounges, but whose brains are still maturing, reached a 40 year high in 2022, and daily use by young adults has tripled.
Finally, we are concerned that, if the city permits the establishment of cannabis lounges, we will take a step backwards in the goal to reduce the use of cannabis by young people in our state, by further normalizing social spaces that revolve around cannabis. Research shows cannabis use can worsen existing mental health issues- increasing the risk of psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia, in teens who are at risk, and suicidality. Nationally cannabis vaping by 12th graders tripled 2017-2022. Frequent marijuana use in early adolescence can lead to altered brain development, impairing executive functioning which is key component in planning for the future. There is also a strong correlation between early use of cannabis and increased risk of dropping out of high school. The short-term effects of cannabis can alter short term memory and impair motor coordination, putting teens at risk of motor vehicle accidents and other injuries. Although teens would not be direct users of cannabis lounges- it will no doubt glamorize the substance more and increase these negative downstream effects.
For over two decades California’s restaurants and bars have been smoke-free. Millenials and GenZ have grown up without the exposure to the secondhand smoke experienced daily by their parents. Workers have been able to breathe safely at work. With your help, smoke-free air laws will protect future generations of Sacramento residents against the harms of secondhand smoke.
Cannabis should not be the path to undoing this progress. Cannabis businesses should remain specialized establishments to provide legal access to cannabis, but not become lounges, restaurants, cannabis bars or convenience stores. Even Amsterdam, the iconic epicenter of cannabis cafes, is rethinking its approach.
We call upon the city of Sacramento to maintain its commitment to smoke-free air for future generations.
Lynn Silver, MD, MPH (pediatrician)
Public Health Institute
I am writing in support of onsite consumption lounges and events
By 2024, there will be 40 operating dispensaries and 60+ delivery businesses where cannabis can be legally purchased, yet there is no legal place where cannabis can be consumed.
I believe it is the responsibility of our City Council to provide safe space locations here in Sacramento where adults can safely consume cannabis after it's purchased.
If not, you will continue to have people consuming in their homes around children or in many cases if you can't consume in your home, you will continue to have people consuming while driving, or in public spaces where everyone including children are exposed.
The reality is that social consumption is already happening in Sacramento, and people will continue to consume in public until there are legal spaces where cannabis consumption can take place.
Have you driven by a concert at Caesar Chavez Park? You can smell the cannabis a block away.
Were you at DOCO when the NBA playoffs were in town? You could smell cannabis smoke all around, and guess what, that will continue to happen until adults have a safe space to consume.
Onsite consumption lounges exist aleady throughout California and are working well in many cities.
If you want to protect children from cannabis, you should provide consumption lounges for responsible adults to go.
Bars exist for adults to enjoy a cocktail, same should be allowed for cannabis.
Maisha Bahati, CEO of Crystal Nugs